Today I am so pleased to welcome Jacqueline Rohrbach to Joyfully Jay. Jacqueline has come to talk to us about her latest release, The Worst Werewolf. She has also brought along a book to give away. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Lavario Character Bio
“No…” This is what people generally say when I tell them my main source of inspiration for Lavario is a collie (Nibbler) we rescued from the pound. As the titular character of The Worst Werewolf (well, it applies to him AND Garvey) and perhaps the most dignified werewolf within the Immutable Moon series, Lavario is full of charm, wit, and arrogance.
My dog is, well, a dog. She is full food she pulled off my cabinets and plans for how to get more. RIP Christmas hams 2009, 2010, 2016. Slow learner here.
Like most writers, I draw inspiration from a variety of different sources. Most of my characters are hybrids of people I know or who I’ve had contact with. Garvey, for example, is a composite of the criminals I interviewed during my grad school years—nothing like predators to explain predatory behavior.
Lavario started off as a villain in the series, but my love of Amber’s storyline forced me to change some of his more domineering characteristics. I wanted a bloodservant in the Varcolac to give a human’s perspective; however, I also wanted her to be defiant right from the start. As I wrote Amber’s story and her character, I realized Lavario—as he was—would kill her. I had to change him or lose Amber.
When I finally decided to make the shift in characterization (which was hard because it gutted my book), I didn’t know how to deal with some of Lavario’s more bombastic (even villainous) personality traits. I told my husband what I wanted to do with him, and he looked at me and said, “May as well rename him Niblario, because you’re describing our loveable a-hole dog.”
And so Lavario was reborn in the image of my dog. Below, I discuss some of her traits that inspired me the most.
Personality Inspiration #1: Nibbler is not here for shenanigans
Much like Lavario, Nibbler doesn’t much care for play or for social interaction. She’d rather be left to her naptime, which she spends surrounded by her favorite toys. When bothered, she doesn’t get mad. She gazes at you with judgmental boredom; she’ll even raise her brow a bit as if to say, “Really?”
She never gets mad or snarls when I try to engage her in play. She’ll sigh, roll over on her back, and act like I don’t exist.
Lavario is quite similar. Introverted, he only interacts when he must. Otherwise, he spends his time reading or tending to his garden. That’s not to say he doesn’t enjoy some company. He’s just seeks others who, like him, appreciate silence over jabbering without aim.
Personality Inspiration #2: Nibbler’s ferocity
Lavario, especially as werewolf, is an imposing figure. Even though his fellow Varcolac wolves hate him and see him as an outsider, they also fear him. Similarly, most everyone is terrified of Nibbler. Her bark, which she overuses (abuses, more like), is full of spittle and vigor. And, honestly, if she thought someone was a threat to her family, she’d bite them. Her teeth are not decorations.
While Lavario is a great deal calmer than Nibbler (and a lot quieter!), he has some of the same anti-outsider mentality. To him, only the true wolves of the Isangelous and the Varcolac matter, and the Moondogs are no more than animals. He makes an exception for Garvey out of love.
Outside threats…yeah, he’d bite them.
Personality Inspiration #3: Nibbler’s oddly contradicting passivity
Yeah, she’s got big white teeth and a mighty bark, but Nibbler is extraordinarily gentle once she’s accepted you as hers to protect. She’ll take things from my hand with so much care I never feel a slight hint of tooth on my fingers. When I go to groom her, she’ll let me twist and turn her every which way. This comes as a massive shock to those who have only met her territorial side. They assume I must have horrible issues with her aggression. Nope.
Powerful, both physically and mentally, Lavario doesn’t use his strength to hurt others unless he has to. He views violence as bullying and refuses to allow himself to stoop to such a level. His unwillingness to use brutality is a point of contention between he and his daughter, who expects Lavario to overthrow the alpha and rule through force the Varcolac way.
That said, he’s willing to point out the flaws in the Varcolac might-makes-right system by taking the possessions of lower-ranking wolves.
Inspiration #4: Nibbler is the queen
Okay, remember when I told you how gentle she takes things from my hand, always mindful not to let her teeth touch me? She totally does… when she condescends to take food from my hand. Most of the time, she looks at me, then at the carpet and repeats this gesture until I sit the food down at her majesty’s feet. Yes, this dog does own me. Despite it, she graciously allows me to inhabit her home.
Despite his high opinion of himself, Lavario does champion the weaker. Rather than forcing obedience from the other wolves of the Varcolac, he remains in the background, allowing them to choose their own path even though this makes his own future uncertain. His swagger comes from having power, but it’s a power he uses with a careful hand.
In this way Lavario is perhaps one of the most moral decision makers of the series. Forcing himself to do what he thinks is right, rather than making what he wants right and forcing it on others, is what ultimately redeems him.
I acknowledge Nibbler’s influence whenever Amber tells Lavario he’s a collie or thinks of him as such. Of course he vehemently denies the comparison, but it’s totally true!
I hope readers will enjoy him as a flawed good guy rather than the villain he was meant to be. He was one of my favorite characters to write.
Want to let me know what you think of Lavario? Want me to show you really cute pictures of my cute dog? Feel free to follow me @immutablemoon. I hope you enjoy The Worst Werewolf, available from NineStar Press February 13, 2017.
The werewolf said, “Race you to the road.” It was the last thing Tovin heard before his life became uncomfortably complex.
Before that night in the forest, Tovin was the type of guy to play it safe. Happy wearing the same shoes, buying the same deodorant, and eating the same meals day after day, he thought his simple existence was pretty great. At least until his boyfriend dumps him for being boring. Heartbroken but on a mission of vengeance, Tovin decides to start a new life filled with excitement, danger, and maybe a meal from a questionable food truck.
A date with Garvey would start it all. Handsome, sophisticated, the man is everything Tovin thinks he needs. It’s a pity he turns out to be a werewolf on a mission to save his pack from destruction.
Now Tovin is caught up in Garvey’s world.
Abducted and forced to be the bloodservant of a powerful Alpha, he lands right in the middle of a brewing conflict that threatens to destroy humanity.
Jacqueline Rohrbach is a 36-year-old creative writer living in windy central Washington. When she isn’t writing strange books about bloodsucking magical werewolves, she’s baking sweets, or walking her two dogs, Nibbler and Mulder. She also loves cheesy ghost shows, especially when the hosts call out the ghost out like he wants to brawl with it in a bar. You know, “Come out here, you coward! You like to haunt little kids. Haunt me!” Jackee laughs at this EVERY time.
She’s also a hopeless World of Warcraft addict. In her heyday, she was a top parsing disc priest. She became a paladin to fight Deathwing, she went back to a priest to cuddle pandas, and then she went to a shaman because I guess she thought it would be fun to spend an entire expansion underpowered and frustrated. Boomchicken for Legion!
Jacqueline has brought a choice of ebook from NineStar Press to give away to one lucky reader on her tour. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter.
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